Colleen Harrison is a photojournalist who has spent the majority of her life living and working in the Rust Belt of the United States, while taking every opportunity to explore anywhere and everywhere she can in the U.S. and across the globe.
After growing up in the Cleveland area, she lived in Pittsburgh while pursuing her degree in photojournalism. She freelanced in northeast Ohio and around western Pennsylvania before moving to Michigan to start a full-time career in photojournalism.
During her two years in Michigan, Harrison worked for the statewide news agency MLive as well as the Saginaw News, Bay City Times and Battle Creek Enquirer newspapers. From there she moved on to southern Minnesota, where she spent seven years with the Albert Lea Tribune and Albert Lea Magazine — moving into full-time writing duties on top of her photo and video assignments.
Harrison has photographed everything from presidents and Olympians, to protests and murder trials, Holocaust and cancer survivors, and everything in between. She has spent time on assignment with newspapers along the Mississippi-Louisiana border, as well as the Gulf Coast of Texas to assist with hurricane aftermath coverage. She has won numerous regional, statewide and national awards for her photography, video and written work — a number of them for documentary projects on subjects such as refugee resettlement, substance addiction and recovery, and domestic violence awareness, among others. Her experience interviewing domestic violence survivors led her to become a volunteer advocate with her local crisis centers, working with survivors as they look to safely start over.
Harrison now produces multimedia content for St. Cloud State University while freelancing for different news organizations. In 2022 she released the book BEAUTY IN THE BANAL: Scenes found in nature and the neglected, a photo essay on adventure and exploration. She lives in central Minnesota with her partner in crime, their crazy dogs and judgmental cat — and is open to freelance opportunities anywhere.